AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The Republican candidates for Texas' top offices have had their soft openings; Labor Day marks the beginning of the real campaign season.
Now that the March primary is six months away, it's time for one of the most wide-open elections in a decade to begin picking up steam. At least for Republicans. Only one Democrat has announced for statewide office.
But in a red state like Texas, where no Democrat has won statewide in 20 years, the Republican primary is where the action is. There are 22 candidates for the top eight jobs, six of which have no incumbent.
That means the candidates will need to differentiate themselves from one another, most likely with attack ads. By February, many television viewers will be longing for the dog-days of summer.
Chris Tomlinson is the AP's supervisory correspondent in Austin responsible for state government and political reporting.